Friends' performance will be early Christmas present for festival-goers
BRISTOL band Phantom Limb started when a group of friends decided to record music together as a Christmas present to themselves. Now, with several albums under their belt and a gig at the Grillstock festival to boot, they're not just an annual treat.
Singer Yolanda Quartey said playing at the festival, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, fitted with the band's country/soul feel.
She said: "I went to the festival last year and it was brilliant.
"I didn't realise what an intense food experience it would be – there is a lot of eating and people should definitely not have their lunch before they go, someone seems to offer you food every few hours.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"We were really excited and pumped to get the gig because the reputation of the festival is really growing.
"Musically it has its roots in Americana which is awesome and it will be great to go along and contribute to something that is so good."
The group will perform a mixture of music from their latest album The Pines as well as rarer material from Phantom Limb and Live in Bristol.
They formed in 2004 when the group of friends in the city realised they were all in different bands but wanted to play together.
The group is formed of Yolanda, Stew Jackson, Andy Lowe, Dan Moore, Matt Brown, Luke Cawthra.
Former members include Dan Brown and Matt Jones.
Yolanda said: "To all intents and purposes we're all from Bristol.
"I was born here and so was Stew, I've known him since I was 15 years old. The others have lived here most of their lives and we were all friends. I was in a different band at the time and Stew was mostly producing but we thought it would be nice to do something with our friends and that's where the sound came from.
"It started with us getting together for the sake of the music more than anything else.
"That's what we meant when we say it was a Christmas present to ourselves. It wasn't supposed to go anywhere and there was no real plan. We had no intention of taking it seriously but that seemed to be the best reason to do it."
But the group did become serious and their success has seen them rocket into the album charts and perform across the country.
The success has brought mixed emotions for Yolanda.
She said: "We put in so much work with the band, we've worked to within an inch of our lives, so when we get some recognition there is a sense of 'it's about time'. Bristol is an insanely musical city; you can find all genres working to a really high level but not everyone makes it. There is a duality in feeling really thankful when people take an interest but you also feel you've earned it. We like to fly the flag for real music and it is nice when people recognise the effort."
But many would say Phantom Limb started as they meant to go on. The band's first gig was supporting jazz musician Courtney Pine at Colston Hall.
"We were an acoustic trio then" Yolanda said. "We were a little rockier but that was really the birth of the sound."
As well as preparing for Grillstock, which will also feature Alabama 3 and Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires, the band are working on writing another album.
Yolanda added: "We're in the process of writing but you can't write in the place you live in. You have to go away to somewhere where you don't have to worry about the phone ringing or having to pay bills. Writing is an escape from reality – the part of my brain that deals with the bills is not the same part that writes."
Phantom Limb play Grillstock on Sunday. Tickets cost £11.50. For details visit http://grillstock.co.uk.